|Lancaster PB737, 61 Squadron, 2 Feb 1945||Hi Alistair,
firstly, a note on German records - most Luftwaffe unit records, including combat reports, were deliberately destroyed in the last week of the war, meaning that the type of information that you seek must be reconstructed from what documents survive, including aircrew logbooks etc. Thus, what information that does survive is incomplete.
According to Luftwaffe High Command reports, the Nachtjagd made claims of 14 certain and two probable victories against the first RAF raid on Politz on 8-9 February 1945.
During research before writing the 1945 section of the book, "The Nachtjagd War Diairies Volume 2" (Red Kite 2008), details of 14 of the sixteen claims were discovered:
Oblt. Herbert Koch: 15 1./NJG3 Lancaster N.E. Kopenhagen 19.52 poss 57 Sqn Lancaster PB382
Hptm. Ernst-Georg Drünkler: 27 1./NJG5 Lancaster S.W. Stettin 21.03
Hptm. Ernst-Georg Drünkler: 28 1./NJG5 Lancaster S.W. Stettin 21.08
Hptm. Ernst-Georg Drünkler: 29 1./NJG5 Lancaster S. Stettin harbour 21.12 poss 61 Sqn Lancaster LL911
Fw. Egon Engling: 8 12./NJG3 Lancaster - 21.11 poss 463 Sqn Lancaster ED611 (damaged)
Fw. Egon Engling: 9 12./NJG3 Lancaster - 21.14 poss 463 Sqn Lancaster ED611 (damaged)
Ofw. Rudolf Mangelsdorf: 9 III./NJG2 Lancaster over Stettin 22.03 poss 630 Sqn Lancaster ND554
Oblt. Hans Raum: 14 7 or 9./NJG3 Lancaster - -
Obstlt. Walter Borchers: 36 Stab NJG5 Lancaster - -
Obstlt. Walter Borchers: 37 Stab NJG5 Lancaster - -
Obstlt. Walter Borchers: 38 Stab NJG5 Lancaster - -
Lt. Herbert Altner: 20 8./NJG5 - over Stettin - (note – claim according to post-war recollection of Altner, but not recorded in his Flugbuch) poss 61 Sqn Lancaster LL911
Lt. Herbert Altner: 21 8./NJG5 - over Stettin - (note – claim according to post-war recollection of Altner, but not recorded in his Flugbuch) poss 61 Sqn Lancaster LL911
Lt. Herbert Altner: 22 8./NJG5 - over Stettin - (note – claim according to post-war recollection of Altner, but not recorded in his Flugbuch) poss 61 Sqn Lancaster LL911
To update this list since publication, without expanding too much on the 'history', the three Borchers claims may have been 'invented' by certain historians, and certainly I have yet to see documentary proof that such claims were made. As mentioned above, Altner's claims are based upon a post-war statement by Altner himself, and are not supported by evidence in his flying logbook (although not impossible, it would be highly unusual for a Nachtjagd pilot not to record air victories in his logbook). To the list can be added a claim at 20.27 hrs for a probable victory by Hptm. Eduard Schröder of 1./NJG3.
Thus, of the original 16 claims, reliable documentary evidence exists for 9 of the claims, while the Altner claims are based upon his testimony only, and it is likely that the three Borchers claims are bogus (i.e. were never claimed).
Because the claims details are incomplete, IMHO, the best that can be said ....Read More.||RodM on 5th February 2009 01:41:32|